Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I know, I know.  How cliche.  The new year is fast approaching and I am blogging about resolutions.  But before you close this tab on account of my lack of originality, hear me out.

People have a tendency to get a little cynical when they talk about resolutions:  "I'm resolving to never make another resolution again;" "No one ever keeps those things" and "Oh, yeah - my diet starts on the 1st ... again."

I used to feel the same way about resolutions.  Every year I would write them down, hide them somewhere in my room and then open them the following year to see how I did.  And you know what?  I always did pretty terribly.  Actually - that's putting it nicely.  I failed miserably.  But how could I possibly measure up to the bucket list of resolutions that I had given myself?  Get straight A+'s in school, lose 25 pounds, get back on the piano bench (but not sacrifice playing my saxophone), wake up early every day and run, go horseback riding every week, learn how to snowboard, keep my room clean (ha), etc. etc. etc.  I really should have started with "develop a machine that slows down time" because I was going to need at least 52 hours in a day to acheive all of those things.

I haven't made a new year's resolution in several years - mostly because I was tired of being disappointed year after year that I was getting nowhere.  But for the past couple of weeks I started thinking about them differently.  And that is where this post comes from.

I don't think that new year's resolutions are cliche.  In fact - I think they are healthy and full of possibilites.

I work with a girl who absolutely loves Mondays.  LOVES them.  She says they give her a fresh start.  Mondays that start a new month are even better.  We were both at work yesterday and were thinking about coming into work next week.  Not only will we be coming in on a Monday, but it will be Monday, January 4, 2010.  We will be starting a new WEEK, MONTH, YEAR and DECADE.  I think this is the perfect opportunity to start fresh; to make one attainable resolution (read:  ONE and ATTAINABLE) and to focus on how that one resolution can feed into the other parts of your life.

Bruce and I are going to look more seriously at how we spend our money.  My friends and I all joke about being poor seminary students, but - let's face it - we have plenty (and a lot more than most of the world).  And even the loans we take out aren't going to have us staring in the freecreditreport.com commercials anytime soon - student debt is considered "responsible" and is paid back in small amounts over a long period of time.

So what's the problem?  Well - as I look back on my credit card statements I see a lot of charges from restaurants, fast food, pizza places, chinese takeout, Jazzman's coffee shop and Emory dining.  Going out to eat once or twice a week isn't going to break the bank, but I think (scratch that, I KNOW) we are stretching that once or twice to ... well, a lot more than that.  We are spending so much of our money on eating out and we would ideally like to be either putting more of it away or giving it to some of our favorite organizations that are being hurt most by the recession.  (I hate having to say, "I wish I could give.")

The first place that Bruce and I are going to be more careful in budgeting is what we are spending on food, mostly what we spend eating out.  This week alone we are resolving to cook every single night - and to make enough for leftovers that we have lunch to bring to work the next day.  And I think once school starts back up again I am going to try to cook a lot on the weekends and freeze what I make into one-portion-sized containers so we can just grab and go in the mornign.

I am really looking forward to see how much we can save by resolving NOT to eat out.  I am also hoping that - by cooking ourselves - we will be able to spend more time together and we will be eating much more healthy because we will be in control of the ingredients.

So - in all reality our resolution is more about food than it is about money.  Bruce did do a little hocus pocus on our comcast package and brought our bill down a significant amount (at the expense of soapnet, no more Breakfast in Bed on Saturday mornings, sigh ... ).  But part of re-budgeting is looking at where your money is going and that is what I noticed.  And look at how one thing can seep into so many facets of our lives.  By focusing on food and preparing our meals, we can cut what we are spending (our finances), eat more healthy (our bodies), spend time together (our relationship/marriage) and learn more about being in the kitchen/cooking (our creativity).

There you have it - my New Year's Resolution.  How about you all?  Did I lose anyone?  Inspire anyone?  Has anyone ever had a resolution like this in the past?  Do you have any pointers?

If you decide to blog about resolutions, link back in the comments section of this post.  I'd love to read them!!



  1. I agree! New Year's Resolutions are healthy...I mean, there's certainly no harm in trying to better yourself, right?

    I'm also SO guilty of eating out too much. I look at my bank statements each week and cringe, haha!

  2. It's been quite some time since I set any specific long term goals with a serious intent to work on them, but i do have one this year. My "new years resolution" began on Christmas when I got a book I've been wanting which includes dated writing prompts for everyday of the year. My goal is to write something for each of those daily prompts. I've been working on it less than a week and I was already late on one, but I got back to it, and I have a cousin that's doing it with me to help hold me accountable. If you want to follow my progress I've been posting my writing and/or just updates saying I'm still at it on my blog http://reboloke.blogspot.com/

  3. the food thing is TOTALLY do-able. :) since we got married i started making a weekly menu and then grocery list and then i have to only shop once. I can re-use ingreds. and buy stuff on sale to use the following week. our groc. bill is usually $60 total. :) just a thought.

  4. So here are my tips to help you:
    1) invest in Rachel Ray cookbooks - the recipes are easy, ingredients (for the most part) are common and you likely have them already, quick - 30 minutes and easy for a novice chef and they are healthy
    2) crockpot cooking - great for school days - you throw the ingredients in the pot before work, turn it on and go. You will come home to dinner already made and there are usually a lot of leftovers
    3) shop and chop on the same day. Make it a habit to wash and chop your produce when you get home from the grocery store. This helps you save precious time during the week, cook faster and makes snacks quick and easy.
    4) alternate nights - tim and I used to alternate nights that we cooked and/or cooked together. We also had a rule that whoever cooks does not clean up.
    Hope thes tips help!! Happy New Year to you both - miss and love you!!
    Courtney L.

  5. ohmygoodness, i love your blog:) I found it thru Amanda @ AmandaandKevin. I am glad you posted about this - i love New Year's Resolutions & i hate how people are so cynical about them! There is nothing wrong w/ setting goals - anytime! Anyway - this is is my New Year's Resolution blog:

    I also see you're a newlywed! we are too - kinda - we got married 11/14/08 & i absolutely love married life! :)

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